A van veered onto a promenade Thursday and barreled down the busy walkway in central Barcelona, swerving back and forth as it mowed pedestrians down and turned a picturesque tourist destination into a bloody killing zone. Fourteen people were killed and 100 were injured, 15 of them seriously, in what authorities called a terror attack. Victims were left sprawled in the street, spattered with blood or writhing in pain from broken limbs. Others fled in panic through Las Ramblas, screaming or carrying young children in their arms. “It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible,” Josep Lluis Trapero, a senior police official for Spain’s Catalonia region told reporters late Thursday.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying in a statement on its Aamaq news agency that the attack was carried out by “soldiers of the Islamic State” in response to the extremist group’s calls for followers to target countries participating in the coalition trying to drive it from Syria and Iraq.